I shattered knowing hands
                                             would search for shards, demand

                                             you see the perfect and the marred 
dig in clay and sift through dust flung-far for pieces lost in dung-ash-earth an ocean’s scar

                and dead-eyed glaze of thirst in recent sea a precious little girl is gone to me. 
                     I wonder ware to turn and turn and turn a loss I cannot flee. Conceive 

               that river’s gaping mouth, ferocious flow, no stay, no route to track or trace
                        or trade the echo’s sound erased along this way like empty space

                                             within these pots’ clay walls history 
                                              shatters begins again forestalled 

                              (Slavery’s slippery touch, its slippery, slippery, touch. . .)

Reprinted from Praise Songs for Dave the Potter: Art and Poetry for David Drake, edited by P. Gabrielle Foreman. Copyright © 2023 P. Gabrielle Foreman. Reprinted with permission of University of Georgia Press.